Politics Opinion

Israel war a display of hypocrisy and de facto terrorism

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The war in the Middle East is now estimated to have claimed over 20,000 lives (Screenshot via YouTube)

As Israel continues to slaughter thousands of Palestinians, backed by the USA, echoes of past conflicts and the hypocrisy around them are being felt. Dermot Daley reports.

ON 7 OCTOBER 2023, activists of Hamas, a Palestinian resistance movement, brutally and immorally engaged in the murder and abduction of Israeli civilians from settlements in the occupied territories of Palestine.  

What were they thinking by poking the bear? Israel is a nuclear power with a modern military and the resolute backing of the USA. 

The Israelis reacted with calculated vengeance. With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power, it would never be pretty and he grabbed the chance to show how tough he can be. 

Ordinary citizens of the planet are helpless when megalomaniacs pursue their vengeance on those with whom they have taken umbrage.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine in 2022 to inflate his fantasy to re-create the USSR. The Western world imposed soft sanctions because winter is cold in Europe and people wanted to heat their homes with cheap Russian gas and oil. In the meantime, the world watched in impotent anger as civic infrastructure and residences in Ukraine were demolished by the superior firepower of the global superpower.  

History is often an overt record of what we fail to learn from history. In living memory (for a dwindling few) there existed a monster who led the world into war, set up by harsh economic sanctions following an earlier war, but cruelly inflamed by a desire to demonise a race of people who had historically lived peacefully within their community.

Many nations were slow to catch on and some thought that what Mr Hitler was doing wasn’t all bad. But thankfully Mr Churchill and the gritty Brits stood up to him and history attests that the attempted genocide of Jews was stopped. The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials followed and the civilised world vowed that such a horrific event would not be repeated.  

But it seems that history is never fully learned and within decades, tin-pot generals emerged in third-world regimes, stealing public money and murdering those who opposed them. The media thrived on the endless accounts of greed and chicanery. 

It couldn’t happen here, people said. It couldn’t happen to us.  

Again and again, we are confronted by conflict with a common thread of hypocrisy. Where was the UN in the Balkans or Sudan? How did Bush, Blair and Howard get away with the blatant lie of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq? What of poor Afghanistan; invaded by Russia, destabilised by the U.S., left in a power vacuum, invaded for a witch hunt and then abandoned again? The UN appears to be forever intimidated by bullies. 

It is often said that the first casualty of war is the truth. The real casualties are always women, children and the elderly. This historical fact dominates our daily news. 

The world is again subjected to numbing media images, now from Gaza, of jets firing rockets into apartment blocks, bombed hospitals, lumbering tanks blasting at anything in their way, smashed and broken bodies, crying bloodied children, women weeping at their losses, exhausted doctors and nurses. How can this be allowed, we lament?  

Can Israelis not see that what they are doing in herding the occupants of Gaza into tiny ghettos and coldly picking them off is not so different to what the Nazis did to the Jews of Germany, Poland and Austria in the 1930s and 1940s? 

Israel created Hamas. There was no Hamas, per se, until the Israelis took land from established Palestinian landowners and then constructed walls to keep them out. The UN has decreed that this land theft is illegal, but Israel persisted and Hamas was born. 

This form of desperate resistance has historic precedents. To counter 400 years of English occupation and oppression in Ireland culminating in “the Troubles” of the 1970s, the IRA invented “TNT terrorism” to get the world’s attention. In 2003, Bush Jr’s illegal invasion of Iraq created unresolved ill-will against the West in the forms of Al-Qaeda and ISIL.

Thus the English, then the U.S. and now Israel, while claiming to be “right”, have generated terrorist groups in the countries they invaded; overlooking that to the suffering citizens, the invaders are the de facto terrorists. 

Israel and Hamas recently agreed to a tenuous ceasefire for the safe exchange of hostages and the world gave a sigh of relief; however, this was a small respite in a story far from complete. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have since resumed aggressive ethnic cleansing in Gaza, conducting an invasion (artfully hidden from the Israeli public) which will surely be judged in time to comprise war crimes.  

Why are there no global sanctions on Israel for the callous assault on the citizens of Gaza? 

Instead, it appears that American President Joe Biden has become an accomplice, seeking to secure re-election votes by yielding to the demands of Zionist extremists in the U.S. and supplying tank shells to be used against defenceless civilians in Gaza. 

To this neutral observer, Israel is not solving a problem, it has created one.

No one I know disputes the historical right for a Jewish homeland to exist in territory near the biblical city of Jerusalem. No one I know disputes the right of the Palestinian nation to exist freely in a land known for millennia as Palestine. 

The Middle East has a shared history for many tribes with many allegiances and it contains the genesis of three monotheistic religions whose continued observance of pre-industrial desert customs for personal hygiene and food preparation still have much in common.  

You share the same god. Please, stop this insanity and focus on saving the planet.

Dermot Daley is a fourth-generation Australian living in Victoria, who is now retired from construction project management​​​​.

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